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Baptism discuss James White vs Bill Shishko on Baptism in the Theology forums; Originally Posted by Marrow Man Originally Posted by Herald Tim, Well, if I was being generous, I would say that Acts is not the best ...

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marrow Man View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Herald View Post
    Tim,

    Well, if I was being generous, I would say that Acts is not the best place to establish a case for paedobaptism. Most of the paedo arguments I've read center on the continuity of the Abrahamic Covenant, independent of any positive commands in Acts. If anything, Acts seems to emphasize faith before baptism (2:38; 8:12-13; 9:18 (regeneration assumed in Saul's case); 16:31-33 (c.f. 16:15*); 18:8; 19:4-5).

    *The story of Lydia and the Philippian jailer have striking similarities. Whereas Lydia and the jailer clearly believed; belief is assumed of their family. Not a strong proof text, but one worth mentioning.

    Even though Acts is a transitionary book, for the credobaptist it provides a positive model for baptism that is not countermanded anywhere else in the N.T. But as I said earlier, it seems that the strongest paedo argument is based on the continuity of the covenant, which does not depend strongly on a positive command given in the N.T.

    Back to David, Jeremiah, and John the Baptist for a moment. I don't know what worth we place in determining a baptismal position regarding these three characters. Did the Holy Spirit come upon John in the womb? Certainly. Was it salvific in nature? I don't know. Was it normative? Based on the perspicuity of scripture, I'm not convinced. Jeremiah? I believe he was simply writing that God had ordained him for his work from eternity past. David? Was his trusting upon his mother's breast sign of regeneration? Possibly. I just don't see where there is a strong case to be made for pre-natal or infant salvation being normative.

    Brother Tim, but of course, my presuppositions are pretty thick.
    Bill, the point about the examples of David, et al, is simply that they run counter to the presuppositions of certain credos (in this case, White). They must be considered, not simply dismissed. If we were dealing with logic, we would term these as counterexamples to show that the premise is false. Do they prove the paedo position outright? Of course not. But they do draw into question some of the assumptions that credos sometimes put forward.

    With regard to Lydia and the Philippian jailer, the faith of their households (despite certain poor translations in the case of the jailer) is not mentioned, but must be assumed or inferred by the credobaptist. You are correct in that the continuity of the Abrahamic covenant is probably the strongest argument in favor of the paedo position. The point of mentioning the household baptisms in Acts is to show that this practice is consistent with with mode of the Abrahamic covenant, not a radical departure from it in terms of continuity.
    Tim, well-reasoned response. Thank you.

    Personally, I believe the root issue is the New Covenant. As we've already discussed, household baptisms don't establish a positive command for paedobaptism, mostly because there is a strong attachment to faith preceding baptism in the book of Acts. I understand your point; that household baptisms seem to compliment the paedobaptist view of the continuation of the Abrahamic Covenant. It's for that reason I view the covenantal argument as the determining factor on baptism. I'm certainly not the first person to recognize that. How Baptists and Presbyterians view the visible/invisible church distinction is a consequence of our view of the temporal administration of the New Covenant. I'd like to say that one begets the other, but it seems the two are so inexorably linked that separating them is difficult. I suppose we could now answer the old question of, "What came first, the chicken or the age?" The answer: both.

    Seriously though, there is the crux of the matter; the covenants. Now, if we could reconcile on that issue.... (I'm not holding my breath!)
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    Quote Originally Posted by R Harris View Post

    Bill, the point about the examples of David, et al, is simply that they run counter to the presuppositions of certain credos (in this case, White). They must be considered, not simply dismissed. If we were dealing with logic, we would term these as counterexamples to show that the premise is false. Do they prove the paedo position outright? Of course not. But they do draw into question some of the assumptions that credos sometimes put forward.

    With regard to Lydia and the Philippian jailer, the faith of their households (despite certain poor translations in the case of the jailer) is not mentioned, but must be assumed or inferred by the credobaptist. You are correct in that the continuity of the Abrahamic covenant is probably the strongest argument in favor of the paedo position. The point of mentioning the household baptisms in Acts is to show that this practice is consistent with with mode of the Abrahamic covenant, not a radical departure from it in terms of continuity.
    Tim, you are exactly right about the household baptisms. They say MUCH more about the situation than credos want to admit to.

    So, look at the example of Lydia. The text clearly states that the Lord opened HER heart to the things being spoken. It then states "and when she and her HOUSEHOLD were baptized." The text says nothing about the other members making a profession of faith; the credos assume this by inference because of their existing presuppositions.

    But further in the passage, she says something interesting: "if you have judged ME to have been faithful, then come and stay at my house." Note carefully she does not say US, but rather ME.

    This is very peculiar. Why would she emphasis only herself? Did not the professions of the other members of her household matter? What if Paul or Silas had said "well, Lydia, we have judged you to be faithful, but I'm not sure about the other members of your household." Wouldn't that have mattered? These are not inconsequential considerations.

    The case of the jailer is very clear. In the greek, the participial phrase "having believed in God," is masculine singular, and refers to the jailer based on the grammatical context. In fact, I have even seen credo commentaries that interpret the passage "and his household rejoiced with him in that HE believed in God."

    In his 1978 book "infant baptism and the covenant of grace," which promotes the credo position, Paul Jewitt readily admits this is what the text says. But being backed into a corner, Jewitt then says "well, how is it then that the household rejoiced? How could an infant do that?"

    But one can easily refer to a household generically without necessarily referencing every single member of the household. One could refer to several members without including every single member and still say "household." This is commonly done in everyday language.

    If I come home and announce to my family that I got a raise (I know, rare these days), they can REJOICE with me, while my infant may not know what is going on. The younger children rejoice because they see my wife and I rejoicing while not really understanding what a raise is. But the fact is I ALONE received the raise; I can tell others that my household rejoiced with me without meaning that the infant provided a rejoicing cackle as acknowledgement. So Dr. Jewitt's argument is simply a red herring.

    Hope this is helpful.
    Randy,

    You're making a very predictable partisan leap. First, no matter how hard you look you can't make an exegetical case for infant baptism in Acts. You can infer it based on your view of the continuity of the Abrahamic Covenant, but that is far different than being able to show evidence of a positive command. I believe my brother Tim would agree. I was honest enough to state that my view of Lydia and the Philippian jailer was built on inference from other instances of baptism in Acts. Whereas there is no positive command to baptize infants in Acts, there is a positive command to baptize believers. Does that establish credo baptism alone? No. But I think that's the point Tim and I were making. The book of Acts is full of inference for both sides of the debate. What it lacks is a nail in the coffin that determines the issue. As I wrote in my last post, the determining factor is found in the covenantal argument, not household baptisms.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herald
    You're making a very predictable partisan leap. First, no matter how hard you look you can't make an exegetical case for infant baptism in Acts. You can infer it based on your view of the continuity of the Abrahamic Covenant, but that is far different than being able to show evidence of a positive command. I believe my brother Tim would agree. I was honest enough to state that my view of Lydia and the Philippian jailer was built on inference from other instances of baptism in Acts. Whereas there is no positive command to baptize infants in Acts, there is a positive command to baptize believers. Does that establish credo baptism alone? No. But I think that's the point Tim and I were making. The book of Acts is full of inference for both sides of the debate. What it lacks is a nail in the coffin that determines the issue. As I wrote in my last post, the determining factor is found in the covenantal argument, not household baptisms.
    The issue with the household baptisms is not whether their were infants in the household; rather, it is whether the other members of the household made a profession of faith or not, which is the credo requirement. I believe these examples are clear, crisp evidences that the other members of the household did not.

    I don't think this is a "partisan leap," but rather allowing the text to speak for itself and then making sense of it from the covenantal perspective. So, with Abraham (Genesis 17) and throughout the OT, we see household circumcisions; in the NT, we see household baptisms. So, if one proves that baptism has replaced circumcision as the sign and seal of the covenant, then the correspondence immediately follows.
    Randy Harris
    Stillwater Reformed Presbyterian Church
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    Quote Originally Posted by R Harris
    I don't think this is a "partisan leap," but rather allowing the text to speak for itself and then making sense of it from the covenantal perspective. So, with Abraham (Genesis 17) and throughout the OT, we see household circumcisions; in the NT, we see household baptisms. So, if one proves that baptism has replaced circumcision as the sign and seal of the covenant, then the correspondence immediately follows.
    You're actually making my point. The argument is covenantally based. Our conclusion of the continuity-discontinuity issue determines how we look at the rest of scripture on this topic.
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    For the first time on this subject, I think Baptists and Presbyterians are in agreement.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marrow Man View Post
    For the first time on this subject, I think Baptists and Presbyterians are in agreement.
    You mean we agree that we disagree in an agreeable fashion!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Contra_Mundum View Post

    Is Jesus proclaiming a "fulfillment" of a prophecy? I think not. He's applying a text of Scripture, and silencing his opposition. If God calls forth his praise from the mouths of infants, then a fortiori, these youngsters in the crowd are well within their rights.
    I don't know. It could be both actually. How often did they see children at the temple following a man around praising God? The scriprues testify to Christ so I believe that in most situations he uses them to verify the reality that he is the one they speak of.

    The point of my reference to the text was to answer the prior assertion that in a wrong view of the church there are all these non-elect children (how does anyone know that?) who--not having professed belief--are nontheless declared to be a part of the church, declaring the truth. Well, Ps.8 tells us (without informing us as to the elect status of the persons at all) that God calls forth his praise (truth) from the mouths of babes and sucklings! What babes are these? They are covenant-babes, possessors of the promises.
    That's the problem. We don't know that. They haven't professed anything. We do, however, through empirical evidence see MANY baptized children grow up to live like the devil claiming they are baptized "christian" when it is obvious to even the unbeliever that they might be baptized but certainly not christian. What is the problem with waiting until they are old enough to actually exhibit faith before we tell them they are christians?

    And under what biblical expectation are we to hold those children? (even just assuming the OT context; forget for a moment about whether the text has any present day application). Does not God promise to be God to Abraham and to his children? So, is our default stance that the children are elect, or not?
    This is key. The default stance cannot be that they are elect because they are born into iniquity. They are depraved people who deserve hell by right of a wicked birth.

    Psalm 51:5 KJV
    [5] Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

    So the default position should be that they are reprobates until they exhibit the sign God gave us to know if we ae saved or not; faith.

    John 3:36 KJV
    [36] He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

    Please do not intrude a question of presumptive regeneration here. The question has to do with whether or not we are going to believe and act upon God's promises from the outset, or only after we have held those promises in abeyance for a while, and corroborated his Word with an outside source of authority that can "validate" the Word.

    The point is, that it IS the praise of the elect (!) that God is calling forth from the mouths of infants. There may be non-elect who also praise, however, there are non-elect adults in the church who also join in singing, etc. So what?
    Jesus referred to those who actually do the will of God as his family members:

    Mark 3:35 KJV
    [35] For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.

    Why did he do that if they were all supposedly elect in the Abrahamic covenant? Also why did Paul tell us clearly that those of faith are the children of Abraham?

    Galatians 3:7 KJV
    [7] Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.

    If only those of faith are the children of abraham then our default position must be that we see evidence of faith before we declare they have put on Christ.

    Galatians 3:27 KJV
    [27] For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

    If not what am I missing here?


    Your references to the church appear to be a cut-and-paste from a baptist set of definitions, whereby they carefully exclude anything that will challenge both individualism and independency.
    I don't know if that was meant as a jab or if it just shows reveals your personal opinion of me and my work ethic but I actually used this on-line bible Bible: King James Version and carefully looked at the passages and wrote the italic commentary next to the passages so you would know how I think in order to answer your post well. The only thing that I didn't write is the text of scripture. I'm sorry it sounded too Baptist? That does give me something to think about though.

    I've no use or time to turn this thread into a debate on ecclesiology. Either you do or do not accept the proposition that the NT speaks of the church under a variety of expressions, and that what it says about the church under one expression may not in every case be accurately expressed under another. That is to say, the church as "pillar and ground of truth" is not predicable of "the church" under any and every consideration whatsoever.
    Ok. I understand that you are a busy man and don't have time for this. If I am ever a pastor then I imagine I'll be a lot busier as well. I am trying to figure out if God is calling me in that regard. However, I do disagree with you about your view on the Church. I do believe we are the pillar and ground of the truth as Paul recorded because we are indwelt by God himself and he guides us to truth.

    Jeremiah 31:33-34 KJV
    [33] But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
    [34] And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

    I believe that the above prophecy is talking about the Church.
    David Doss
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herald View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Marrow Man View Post
    For the first time on this subject, I think Baptists and Presbyterians are in agreement.
    You mean we agree that we disagree in an agreeable fashion!
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    I listened to the Macarthur vs Sproul debate.

    I think John Macarthur did a very good job. That's the first time I've ever seen RC Sproul defeated in a debate.
    David Doss
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    Quote Originally Posted by DD2009 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Contra_Mundum View Post
    Your references to the church appear to be a cut-and-paste from a baptist set of definitions, whereby they carefully exclude anything that will challenge both individualism and independency.
    I don't know if that was meant as a jab or if it just shows reveals your personal opinion of me...

    Ok. I understand that you are a busy man...
    Let me just say, I apologize for my tone. You deserved better.

    Quote Originally Posted by DD2009 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Contra_Mundum View Post
    Either you do or do not accept the proposition that the NT speaks of the church under a variety of expressions, and that what it says about the church under one expression may not in every case be accurately expressed under another. That is to say, the church as "pillar and ground of truth" is not predicable of "the church" under any and every consideration whatsoever.
    I do disagree with you about your view on the Church. I do believe we are the pillar and ground of the truth as Paul recorded because we are indwelt by God himself and he guides us to truth.
    I would just say that something that can be said of a group is not necessarily something that can be said of each particular part of the group. A car can be "the ideal road machine," but the same fact cannot be said for the headlight alone. The Bible talks of the church as a body, made up of particulars. That church has visible and invisible qualities.

    I had written a lot more, but God saw fit to wipe that work out. Perhaps I will return at some point and respond to some of your other points or questions.
    Rev. Bruce G. Buchanan
    ChainOLakes Presbyterian Church, CentralLake, MI

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    Quote Originally Posted by Contra_Mundum View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DD2009 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Contra_Mundum View Post
    Your references to the church appear to be a cut-and-paste from a baptist set of definitions, whereby they carefully exclude anything that will challenge both individualism and independency.
    I don't know if that was meant as a jab or if it just shows reveals your personal opinion of me...

    Ok. I understand that you are a busy man...
    Let me just say, I apologize for my tone. You deserved better.

    Quote Originally Posted by DD2009 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Contra_Mundum View Post
    Either you do or do not accept the proposition that the NT speaks of the church under a variety of expressions, and that what it says about the church under one expression may not in every case be accurately expressed under another. That is to say, the church as "pillar and ground of truth" is not predicable of "the church" under any and every consideration whatsoever.
    I do disagree with you about your view on the Church. I do believe we are the pillar and ground of the truth as Paul recorded because we are indwelt by God himself and he guides us to truth.
    I would just say that something that can be said of a group is not necessarily something that can be said of each particular part of the group. A car can be "the ideal road machine," but the same fact cannot be said for the headlight alone. The Bible talks of the church as a body, made up of particulars. That church has visible and invisible qualities.

    I had written a lot more, but God saw fit to wipe that work out. Perhaps I will return at some point and respond to some of your other points or questions.
    Thanks, but it may be too late anyway. I've been talking to my wife this afternoon about all of the study I've been doing the last month or so. I think I might be a credo.
    David Doss
    First Baptist Church of Colleyville Texas (SBC)
    LBCF 1689

    www.osagebluestem.wordpress.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by DD2009 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Contra_Mundum View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DD2009 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Contra_Mundum View Post
    Your references to the church appear to be a cut-and-paste from a baptist set of definitions, whereby they carefully exclude anything that will challenge both individualism and independency.
    I don't know if that was meant as a jab or if it just shows reveals your personal opinion of me...

    Ok. I understand that you are a busy man...
    Let me just say, I apologize for my tone. You deserved better.

    Quote Originally Posted by DD2009 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Contra_Mundum View Post
    Either you do or do not accept the proposition that the NT speaks of the church under a variety of expressions, and that what it says about the church under one expression may not in every case be accurately expressed under another. That is to say, the church as "pillar and ground of truth" is not predicable of "the church" under any and every consideration whatsoever.
    I do disagree with you about your view on the Church. I do believe we are the pillar and ground of the truth as Paul recorded because we are indwelt by God himself and he guides us to truth.
    I would just say that something that can be said of a group is not necessarily something that can be said of each particular part of the group. A car can be "the ideal road machine," but the same fact cannot be said for the headlight alone. The Bible talks of the church as a body, made up of particulars. That church has visible and invisible qualities.

    I had written a lot more, but God saw fit to wipe that work out. Perhaps I will return at some point and respond to some of your other points or questions.
    Thanks, but it may be too late anyway. I've been talking to my wife this afternoon about all of the study I've been doing the last month or so. I think I might be a credo.
    David,

    Give God the glory no matter which side of the baptism issue you are convinced of. But remember, baptism is not an end in itself. Credobaptism carries with it a number of other doctrinal distinctives, just like paedobaptism. Proceed deliberately in evaluating the Baptist hermeneutic. Ideally you're looking at the Reformed Baptist hermeneutic, not that of mainline Baptists. I recommended to you some good books to add to your library. Hopefully you've acted on those recommendations. If you do make the change to the Baptist position, please have a respectful and frank discussion with your elders. If they attempt to keep you from making this change, hear them out. You may find that strange advice coming from a Baptist. The reason I offer this advice (and I believe it is sound) is to make sure that you're not just enamored with the credobaptist position; infatuated with it. I don't want to see you changing once only to change back. Take your time and make sure you are convinced by scripture alone. If you are convinced about the credobaptist position, let me know. I may be able to recommend some other resources to aid you in your study.
    Bill Brown
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    Quote Originally Posted by DD2009 View Post
    Thanks, but it may be too late anyway. I've been talking to my wife this afternoon about all of the study I've been doing the last month or so. I think I might be a credo.
    David,
    Actually, I more or less thought, from the stance and bearing of most of your recent comments, that you were already pretty thoroughly convinced of the baptist position. And that estimate led to the dismissive tone of my other post. In other words, I was very much drawn to try to persuade you winsomely of the Reformed position, when I thought you were adrift and hoping to find convincing answers.

    However, I am not willing to spend any time trying to persuade a baptist to become a presbyterian. And so, the resistance of your heart to hear what I had to say was a bit frustrating. But I think that it had more to do with the fact that on the one hand you were asking for answers, yet on the other hand my answers would have to meet criteria that were arresting (of your progress toward credo-ism) in nature, and not simply thought-provoking. Probably, if your pastor was unpersuasive, someone over the internet isn't going to be any better.

    I think that my "lost post" could have ended up sounding too condescending, despite the fact that I meant to edit it significantly before posting it. Too much frustration there for it to be profitable. Frustration, because of finding resistance, rather than openness to explanation.

    So, bottom line, I believe you have read your own Baptist-convictions truly. And due to your frank admission/self-assessment, I think I will leave off from going back and addressing other issues you raised. No doubt, the same things will come up in other discussions, and you can glean from there, if the subjects still interest you.

    Blessings,
    Rev. Bruce G. Buchanan
    ChainOLakes Presbyterian Church, CentralLake, MI

    Made both Lord and Christ--Jesus, the Destroyer
    Acts 2:36 - 1 Cor. 10:9-10 & 15:22-26 - Hebrews 2:9-15 - 1 John 3:8 - James 4:12

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    Osage Bluestem is offline. Puritanboard Junior
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    Quote Originally Posted by Contra_Mundum View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DD2009 View Post
    Thanks, but it may be too late anyway. I've been talking to my wife this afternoon about all of the study I've been doing the last month or so. I think I might be a credo.
    David,
    Actually, I more or less thought, from the stance and bearing of most of your recent comments, that you were already pretty thoroughly convinced of the baptist position. And that estimate led to the dismissive tone of my other post. In other words, I was very much drawn to try to persuade you winsomely of the Reformed position, when I thought you were adrift and hoping to find convincing answers.

    However, I am not willing to spend any time trying to persuade a baptist to become a presbyterian. And so, the resistance of your heart to hear what I had to say was a bit frustrating. But I think that it had more to do with the fact that on the one hand you were asking for answers, yet on the other hand my answers would have to meet criteria that were arresting (of your progress toward credo-ism) in nature, and not simply thought-provoking. Probably, if your pastor was unpersuasive, someone over the internet isn't going to be any better.

    I think that my "lost post" could have ended up sounding too condescending, despite the fact that I meant to edit it significantly before posting it. Too much frustration there for it to be profitable. Frustration, because of finding resistance, rather than openness to explanation.

    So, bottom line, I believe you have read your own Baptist-convictions truly. And due to your frank admission/self-assessment, I think I will leave off from going back and addressing other issues you raised. No doubt, the same things will come up in other discussions, and you can glean from there, if the subjects still interest you.

    Blessings,

    You are indeed correct Pastor Buchanan. I am a credo. Thank you very much for taking the time to dialog with me. I look forward to fellowshiping with you about many Christ centered topics in the future.

    Best Regards and I pray that God blesses your ministry.
    Last edited by Osage Bluestem; 04-05-2010 at 06:13 PM.
    David Doss
    First Baptist Church of Colleyville Texas (SBC)
    LBCF 1689

    www.osagebluestem.wordpress.com

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